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Sarah Herrmann


From our Editor

Sarah Herrmann, Assistant Professor, Weber State University

The more things change, the more they stay the same. We are beginning our third year teaching and working in a pandemic, now with the highly transmissible omicron variant. I smiled looking back at the column I wrote this time last year, where I eagerly anticipated being vaccinated and returning to normal in the near future. Although we are not back to normal, I am back to teaching in person, so I am preparing yet another series of slides reporting data on case counts and transmission rates, hoping that I can appeal to reason to encourage my students to get vaccinated and mask up in our classrooms. The ongoing pandemic has also brought into stark contrast the injustices in our society and, for me, the implications of inequality in the classroom. These past few years have been traumatic for our students, especially those who must work, care for loved ones, or who have lost friends and family to this terrible disease. In the winter edition of The Forward, we highlight award winners in teaching and mentoring, many of whom discuss their creative pedagogical solutions to a time that is challenging both for faculty and students. 

This issue of The Forward highlights the challenges and opportunities in teaching, research, and policy as we grapple with a new wave of COVID. SPSSI President Linda Silka discusses her efforts to engage with SPSSI stakeholders around the country. SPSSI’s Policy Director, Sarah Mancoll, reflects on the life of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the connections to anti-apartheid advocacy by SPSSI members. We also receive reports on the continuing efforts of SPSSI Committees, including: 

  • Early Career Scholars Committee: Adriana Espinosa and Emily Fisher provide an update on volunteer opportunities and the Michelle Alexander Award.  
  • Graduate Student Committee: Tina Lee discusses the recent initiatives of the GSC and their preconference at the 2022 SPSSI Summer Conference.

Additionally, this issue highlights the winners of SPSSI’s 2021 Teaching Awards. We invited the winners of the Outstanding Teaching Award, Innovative Teaching Award, NITOP Speaker Award, Action Teaching Award, and Teaching Resource Award to submit articles pertaining to their teaching philosophies, awarded activities, or their thoughts on teaching during a pandemic, including:  

  • Karen L. Suyemoto, Grace S. Kim, & Roxanne A. Donovan: What is the Purpose of Education? Education for Social Justice and Transformation
  • Nava Silton: Creativity Unboxed
  • Ryan Pickering: Embracing trauma-informed pedagogical adaptability
  • Janelle Silva: “Dear Students”: One Professor’s Reflections on Lessons Learned During Covid-19
  • Morgan Jerald: Productively Incorporating Lived Experience into Assignments
  • Salena Brody: It’s hard to know what you don’t know: Using Deep Dives for teaching fuller histories
  • Dietlinde Heilmayr: An Attempt at Ungrading

Lastly, we feature the student run newsletter Social Issues from Student Perspectives. This issue includes a letter from editors Isabelle Clough and Stephanie Miodus, a recap of the GSC’s interactive webinar on Producing Policy, a call for more research on women’s post-incarceration reentry programs, a policy brief on trauma associated with family separations at the border, and essays from the 2021 Graduate Student Committee Essay Contest on Decolonial Perspectives in Psychology:

  • Tegan Stettaford: Decolonial Research Practices in Mental Health: An Australian based perspective towards diversity inclusive research
  • Katherine Anne de Rosario: On Decolonizing the Structures of Gender and Sexuality in the Philippines
  • Brianna Baker: Black Woman Activism: Intersectionality, Radical Hope, and The Case for Post-Resilience Frameworks in Psychology
  • Ashley Phillips: Hijras, Colonialism, Psychology, and Western Notions of LGBTQ+

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